How to Design a Website
The internet and its uses have come a long way. Websites are now prerequisites for businesses in the same way that every private individual has a Facebook page. By having a website for your business, you give your company an air of legitimacy and authenticity. The worst part is that many believe that they have to be some tech genius to build a website. In today’s highly competitive market, that’s very understandable, which is why there are tools and websites that you can utilize that teach you How to Design a Website.
The fact of the matter is 47% of people expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. Once it’s up it takes 0.05 seconds for people to form an opinion about your site. Studies have shown that 94% of first impressions are design-related.
First things first, you’ll need a domain. If you already have one, skip this step. Just as the internet became more competitive with websites and their design, there are hosting sites that want to help everyone find a place on the internet. You can find a more detailed list of Hostingfacts.
There are websites like Wix, SquareSpace, and WordPress that all you need is to pay a monthly fee, purchase a domain name (www.) and you can use their templates and platform. It really comes down to what your website’s needs are going to be that will determine what kind of hosting you choose.
Some people think it’s all about the look of a website; others, it’s usability. But the truth is, it’s a unique balance of looks, clear copy, and usability that is the key to having great web design.
Now that you have a host and a domain, it’s time to define what kind of website you’re designing. If it’s selling a product, then you’ll want to focus more on the functionality of the page. The main focus should be on the product more than the entire aesthetic of the page.
Whatever theme you decide to go with, remember, a website is your digital business card. Potential prospects will get an impression of your company good or bad depending on the impact that your site will have on them.
Plan Out Your Web Design
It helps to look around at other websites for inspiration, especially ones similar to your niche. You can get an idea of what you’d like to implement in your website design and what you don’t. Just remember, it’s ideas only. Full-on copying is not a good idea.
Your site should be yours, and the impact you want on your audience should be because of your design, content, and value, not because you copied what seems to work for someone else. A great place for ideas or a “vision board” would be Pinterest.
When you have a well-formulated plan about how you want to structure your page, this will help you with things like content management and user experience. Physically draw it out if you have to, or look up templates by Webflow that go best with what you’re aiming for.
Your range of options is endless; this isn’t a process that has to be rushed. Hubspot highlights the importance of certain areas on your website that can improve your UX that isn’t covered here.
User Experience (UX)
The user experience should focus on the user. This part of your page design comes in many parts but contributes to the whole thing. You want your visitors to have an easy time locating what they’re looking for on your page. Nothing will make them click off faster than not getting the information that they need right away from you.
This feature is all about accessibility for users who are interacting on your site. Webdesignerdepot makes a case for the importance of UX to make a positive impact on visitors. Anything from the font, typeface, or color can make a huge impact on the UX. Things to focus on:
- Clarity – The content and messaging of your website should be clear.
- Usability – The standard layouts for things like CTA (call to action) or logins should be easy to find.
- Mobile-Friendly – More people are on their phones and are more likely to look up sites on their mobile devices.
In our previous blog post here, we set an example of what kind of structure would be ideal for a page. The idea behind this is to make it clear to first-time visitors where everything on your site is, like services and content. You don’t want to have someone click off because they couldn’t understand how to use your website.
We immediately put our services and other related information above the fold so that prospects can browse and see our services.
There are two layout patterns used for websites the F Pattern and the Z Pattern.
The New Yorker makes a good example of the F Pattern for layout. This layout is similar to Google search pages where you read in a horizontal movement, that’s the top bar of the F. Then, you read the second line in the same movement, which forms the lower F bar until you eventually scan the rest. The Instagpage blog has a detailed explanation of this pattern.
The Z Pattern is used a lot in web design and it’s a more common layout. Instapage explains this pattern by showing how people will scan horizontally from left to right then down to the left side, creating a diagonal line. Lastly, they go back across to the right side. This pattern is great for layouts with minimal text, making it easier for you to scan through the page.
Content Management System (CMS)
A content management system (CMS) allows you to build a website without needing a lot of technical knowledge. A user-friendly interface makes it easier for you to write, publish, and edit your content like CTAs (call to action) buttons and other hyperlinks.
If you’re familiar with WordPress.Org.,they use the CMS, making it so much easier for their clients to make websites and add content. It’s like opening up MS Word right there, online. You can add photos, links, and videos to one post. The best part is that multiple people can work on the same piece at the same time before publishing.
Other sites that offer CMS:
SEO (Seach Engine Optimization)
You probably hear a lot about this, and you’re wondering what it is. SEO is like having a restaurant that has great food, but nobody knows about it. Now, you start to enhance the ambiance and add more options for different diners to the menu. The changes aren’t that apparent, but they make a big difference.
SEO is a way to improve being seen on the first page of Google searches. For example, the content you put out, like the title and the meta description, allows people to see the post before clicking on it.
Search engines cannot read images, so having text along with the image, will help Google see what you’re describing. Also, if you have too many images on your site, it may slow down. A quick fix for this is to compress the images.
Internal linking is another great tool when making posts. The process of you writing in-depth about a certain topic and how you link to another post about the same topic from a different site. Search engines will think you know a lot about this topic and will rank you higher.
How You Can Apply These Tools
There’s a lot that goes into making a website. It’s widely common for one to get too focused on the aesthetics of your website design but it’s essential that you also consider the functionality of your website – your user experience (UI). At the end of the day, it is your audience that you need to reel in. Brightsand designs can help you apply all of the tools mentioned above and more! We help you create a website that represents your vision with a seamless experience for your audience.
BRIGHTSAND Designs a full-service digital marketing agency that priorities and transforms your ideas and potential into actuality. Our strength in design and professional branding is what we stand on to create the realities that our partners deserve.